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  •     The sporting year just past was perhaps more characterized by losses than wins — the rugby team, for instance, went 0-6 in divisional play, a rarity, and, for the first time in his long career, a softball team coached by Lou Reale did not make the playoffs, not to mention the Boston Marathon where the family of Jim Stewart, East Hampton High’s former wrestling and boys soccer coach, and Shelter Island’s Frank and Mary Ellen Adipietro, the race director of the popular 10K there, found themselves almost within the deadly radius of the bombs near the finish

  •     An 82-67 win over Mattituck in the consolation game of Center Moriches’s invitational boys basketball tournament last weekend was viewed as “a breakthrough” by East Hampton’s coach, Bill McKee, and his assistant, Bob Vacca.

        “We got cremated by Westhampton,” Vacca said of the Bonackers’ 53-36 loss in that tournament’s first round.

  •     During its most arduous workout of the season, a series of timed intervals totaling 2,200 yards, at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter’s pool Friday, Craig Brierley, who coaches East Hampton High’s boys swimming team, said he thought his 31-strong squad had a legitimate chance to win a first-ever league championship.

        “What I’m trying to teach them,” said Brierley, “is how to stay engaged mentally [and thus to retain their form] when they’re in a race and haven’t anything left.”

  •     In Nelson Mandela and, closer to home, in Lee Hayes we have examples of moral authority, a persistent strength in the face of injustice, made all the more notable for their refusals to succumb to bitterness.

        There are very few humans who exhibit that charity, that superior strength, which can come out of suffering, but which, in many more instances, can result in resignation or a lust for vengeance.

  •     Valinda Miller Valcich, when told during a recent conversation that she’s known as the best golfer, man or woman, at Montauk Downs, said she was “humbled,” though her golf bona fides, which include a 3-handicap rating, three holes-in-one, and, most recently, a double eagle (or albatross) on the Downs’s par-5 seventh hole, make a strong case in her favor.

  •     The Montauk Rugby Club and the Old Montauk Athletic Club celebrated some of their own at holiday dinners in Sag Harbor — in the rugby team’s case — and at the South Fork Country Club in Amagansett.

  •     Garth Wakeford, the South African-born number-eight man of the Montauk Rugby Club, spoke movingly at the club’s holiday dinner in Sag Harbor recently of the late Nelson Mandela, who united his country, and who became a heroic symbol for courage and justice worldwide.

        Wakeford said he had been led to believe as he grew up that Mandela was a terrorist, but came to realize that his struggle against apartheid had been justified.

  •     If all went well, we’re in San Pancho, Mexico, now, having escaped Christmas, for the first time ever.

        She remonstrated a bit when I told her a few days before we left that I’d gotten her a present (a gold hummingbird pin). I had seen it advertised in The New Yorker after we’d seen a jaw-dropping documentary on these extraordinary birds.

  •     The East Hampton High School wrestling team placed sixth among the eight schools that vied here Saturday in the Sprig Gardner tournament, an all-day tourney that officially opens Bonac’s wrestling season.

        It was expected that Ward Melville and Hauppauge would fight it out for the top spot, and they did, with Hauppauge winding up the winner. Ward Melville, whose Nick Piccininni was voted the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler, placed second.

  •     The East Hampton High School boys basketball team was to have played three games last week, but wound up playing just one, here with Shoreham-Wading River on Dec. 11.

        That game went down to the wire, with East Hampton coming up on the short end of a 49-48 score.